The Support Service Series showcases Find & Connect Services in each state. Here you can get an idea of what happens after you contact a service, their contact details, some information about them, and what to expect when you apply for records.
Brolga Place (Relationships Australia NT, or RANT) is the Northern Territory’s Find & Connect Support Service for people who were in institutional care before 1990, providing free support services including face-to-face, telephone and Skype counselling, records searching and family tracing, referrals to specialised services, assistance through legal processes, advocacy, Commonwealth Redress Scheme information, and on-going support.
Brolga Place hosts numerous social events throughout the year, including informal morning and afternoon teas, and every year hosts an event to acknowledge the anniversary of the National Apology to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants. It can also provide support to the partners and family members of care leavers.
RANT has supported 263 Care Leavers. The support provided depends on people’s individual needs and their reasons for requesting support. Some Care Leavers want counselling, other just records searching, while some engage in all our services including counselling, records searching, additional support and social events. Service provision is tailored to the needs of the individual.
Dependent on the way people contact Brolga Place, they can either speak to the Adult Specialist Support Services team straight away, or if they leave a message, be contacted within a few business days. If people use the Find & Connect website, the team will either call or email back within a few business days.
If you contact Brolga Place, you’ll be asked a few questions regarding your request and what support you are after, and an assessment will be made on what services can be offered to you.
Access to ‘care’ records is important to some people, as it may answer some questions about their childhood, formulate a timeline of their time in ‘care’, and give them access to their personal records.
Finding records for people who were in ‘care’ can be a long and difficult process, but can also be rewarding. The process typically involves getting as much information from the Care Leaver as possible, then searching for specific records via Freedom of Information requests, religious organisation applications and online searching.
Redaction of information from records often hinders the records searching process and often prevents quality information release to Care Leavers. Unfortunately, redaction of some other individual’s personal information is the law, which prevents the disclosure of their private information. In cases of severe redaction, there are formal avenues to appeal the redaction and also if siblings were in ‘care’, records searching with the collaboration of all siblings can be more successful.
RANT has an office in Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs; however, can provide support to Care Leavers who live throughout the Territory.
If you would like to engage with the service, please call Crystal the Coordinator of the Adult Specialist Support Services on (08) 8923 4999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
–thanks to Crystal Keitaanpaa for authoring this post.